The recent and ongoing fall in prices across Europe including the UK show what a bankrupt policy trying to control what we are paid for pig meat is. Even if we could find a mechanism robust enough to do this domestically we have to realise that we are in a market influenced by global events. So the logical way to future survival is to drive down production costs. Effectively this can come under the general headings, not necessarily in order of importance, of promotion of good of health, elimination of waste, optimising the utilisation of feed and the reduction of labour costs.
We are approaching the end of a period of good profits and many have already been spending some of those profits on a whole range of projects to address some or all of these topics. It is worth noting that the top industry performers are likely to, and do, continue investing through a downturn. It is vital for long term viability that the momentum created over the last four to five years is not lost along with our nerve in the short to medium term. It does require rigorous examination of a project’s or purchase’s viability but the only fatal outcome is to do nothing.
When evaluating new products or the improvement to existing ones, we likewise, as suppliers, have to weigh the added benefits against the cost of a customer buying them. Just such a case is our range of Crystal Spring feed hoppers. This is not a commercial for them but an illustration of the point we are making. They are the most expensive non- motorised feeders in the UK but with a pedigree second to none. They are being installed by some of the world’s largest producers because their feed trials have proved to them that replacement of tens of thousands of hoppers makes sound financial sense. They are not replacing as existing ones wear out but across the board in order to gain from the perceived benefits now. The message is loud and clear. We must keep investing in efficiency however much the temptation is to wait. A continuing programme of improvement by investment is the only strategy to ensure survival in the long term.
A M Warkup Ltd